Sunday, 29 July 2012

Book Love: Slated by Teri Terry

Slated by Teri Terry is a dystopian (the first in a trilogy of course *rolls eyes*). It tells the story of Kyla, a young girl who had her memories wiped because the government said she did something wrong. Basically, she was slated, a process where criminal children under the age of 16 have their minds wiped. The theory is that if they lose all their memories, they can start life again without the memories that made them criminals. This opens up a nature vs nurture debate. Are criminals born? Or do our experiences make us criminals?

Kyla is assigned a new family and must adjust to her new life or she will be 'terminated' but she feels like she isn't normal and soon begins to realise that things aren't perfect and that things are going wrong.

I know I've said before in this blog that I absolutely hate dystopian but this book was amazing! There wasn't much action though and it did slow down a bit in the middle but the pace was enough to keep me turning the pages so it wasn't really a problem. The ideas behind the novel are rather original which was a lovely surprise considering YA dystopian is turning into a huge frenzy of remakes and rip-offs. But this is the first in a series so I'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

The book is set in 2059 (I think) in Britain (YAY!) and is told in the first person POV. The chapters are easy to get through and the writing isn't small which I really don't like. There are 448 page (UK copy).

The characters are interesting and you can never know which person to trust and if people are really who they say they are. This book is proof that looks can be deceiving! I was so shocked through the book to find that the initially bad characters were alright and the initially nice ones were nasty.

While reading the book, I had no idea who was going to be next. In fact, it felt like everyone was in danger and it's nice when you're reading a dystopian to actually be aware of the dangers of such a world. Too many dystopians play it safe.

The writing was fairly simple and easy to understand and there wasn't really much purple prose (thank the heavens).

We also got to see how this dystopian world came about and it showed a lot of similarities to Britain today, especially with the London Riot 2011 and the fact that Britain is pretty much a Big Brother State with CCTV everywhere.

Another plus is that the romance wasn't a focal point, it was just a sub-plot. I hate dystopians where the romance is too heavy. The book was rather political too which some people may not like but I thought it was nice for the novel to show the whole society and not the emotions of a 16 year old professional whinger.

I really love this book (probably the only dystopian I like) but the ending felt rather like a brick being smashed into my face. Without giving away any spoilers, it makes you want to know what's coming next but is enough for those who don't like the book. I just had too many questions at the end but I guess that is the whole point of a series.

I guess I'll just have to wait for the second book!


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Having Fun With Little Money

Last year, I had quite a lot of money saved up for university, my phone bills and generally paying for days out.

But after handing over just over half of it to my parents and having to buy college textbooks, I'm left with hardly anything left.

I'm looking for jobs and have applied to some but nothing so far. I guess it's like a waiting game.

But now I have a whole summer ahead of me and I can't do much in these months because everything in this world costs money.

As a result, I've found some stuff I can do on very little money.

Write fiction. I've been writing fiction since I was a child but over the holidays, I've kind of stepped up a bit. Most of my time is spent in front of my laptop, writing. But this will soon be over. My laptop is falling apart. Seriously. The screen thing has popped up and so the screen it tilted, wires are sticking out and I can't close my laptop or the whole thing will break and right now, I don't have the money to buy a new one. I just hope it sticks out for long enough.

Watch TV. Thankfully for me, my parents pay for the TV bill so if I have some spare time. I watch TV. But I'm not a big fan of the TV. I can never find something I like.

Take a walk. I had thought before the summer holidays that I would take a walk every day. Unfortunately, the weather has kind of made it difficult. It's been raining way too much and it turns out my two month cough is the result of hayfever.

Bake. After writing, my next fave thing to do is to bake. So far I've made biscotti which was really fun but difficult. I honestly thought it would turn out wrong and it took me 20 minutes to get the right consistency. And you get something really yummy at the end!

Budget Shopping. This actually requires some money. Yes, I cheated. Sorry. This is where I go into town with like, £10 and try to buy as much stuff as I can with that money. I actually bought gym trousers, two shirts, 5 pairs of socks, 20 hairbands and a belt all within £15 last week. I felt so proud of myself in the end.

Read over my past writing. I've got so much stuff that I wrote many years ago. Books cost money so I've been reading a lot of what I've written before. It's really bad, I mean really really bad but it's good fun. It reminds me of what I used to write about and how I used to write. I can see how I've changed and in the end, I can put it away and know that I haven't had to pay a dime for those stories!

Visit the library. I can't buy many books so the library continues to be the place for my books. Plus, my local library has been completely refurbished. I don't like it as much though since some of it is now a horrible coffee place and it's 'modern' now. I like old libraries! But it's still full of books!

Watch people who pass your house. I live pretty close to the town centre, the train station and the local park so lots of people go pass. Sometimes I just like to watch people go pass and think about what kind of people they are and what their lives are like. I once noticed a man stopping behind a bush on our road where he went potty. Gross but hilarious. Plus, when I started laughing loudly from behind my curtains, the man freaked out and left pretty quickly.

Visit friends and family. I don't really talk to most of my friends anymore and family problems recently have resulted in us all avoiding each other. But I do like to just talk to someone real when I get bored. You can chat and laugh and make jokes and you're not even spending money!

So that's what I've been doing so far! I hope I get a job soon though. I need the cash!

So what are you doing to pass the time during the holidays?


Sunday, 1 July 2012

My Summer Goals

So my exams ended over a week ago and I've spent the last week writing my novel because I am free to do whatever I want.

I feel weird that college is over because it still feels like I'm going back. But I think I'm looking forward to what university is going to be like.

Since I have 2 months of well, doing stuff, I'm making goals.

Don't think I'll complete all of them though.

So here we go.

1) Write a novel and edit - I am currently writing.

2) Find a job - I am currently finding but still don't have a job.

3) Learn some Spanish - I already speak un poco but want to I guess, improve.

4) Learn to cook some basic food for university if I move out.

5) Get my results - I don't actually remember when results day is.

6) Lose weight - I say this in every goal/aim thing but have never actually completed it.

So here we are!

What are your summer goals? Got anything special to look forward to?